Big Oil Exec Talks Natural Gas, Electric Cars, Biofuels

John Davis

The CEO of one of the world’s biggest petroleum companies says his company will soon produce more natural gas than oil and is investing more than ever in biofuels.

And this article from the Wall Street Journal says that Peter Voser of Royal Dutch Shell says he expects in the next 40 years, 40 percent of the world’s cars will be electric:

Mr. Voser sat down with The Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray and Kimberley Strassel to talk about the future of climate-change legislation, the company’s push beyond oil, the prospects for electric vehicles and more…

MR. MURRAY: What percentage of your capital spending goes to renewable energy sources, roughly?

MR. VOSER: It is not the capital intensity that drives renewable energies and alternative energies. It’s what you spend in technologies and in innovation. Roughly 25% of our budget at this stage goes into what we call alternative energies from an R&D point of view.

MR. MURRAY: And of the 25% of your R&D budget that you spend on renewables, what in that portfolio do you personally think is the most promising?

MR. VOSER: We are focusing a lot on biofuels at this stage. We just announced a few weeks ago a big joint venture in Brazil where we are bringing our first- and second-generation biofuels technologies together with Cosan, a sugar ethanol producer there, in order to speed up the second-generation capabilities because we need to speed up that process. So biofuels is one.

We are in wind. We have gone out of solar. We tried both silicon and thin-film solar, but we can’t see that as being something that we can scale up globally and get the economies of scale. So we leave that. It’s a technology that will be developed, no doubt, but we leave that to a smaller, medium-sized players.

Voser goes on to tell the WSJ that by 2012, Shell will have more natural gas production than oil.

biofuels, Electric Vehicles, Natural Gas, Oil